Nav: Home

Drug shows promise in reducing deadly brain swelling after stroke

March 02, 2020

Cases of potentially deadly brain damage as a result of stroke could be reduced after new research identified a pathway in the brain that causes swelling, and which responds to an innovative treatment.

Research led by the University of Exeter, and published in Nature Communications, has discovered how a malfunction in the way key proteins are transported within the brain after a stroke can lead to swelling, which can cause severe damage.

The international team has developed a compound which effectively treats this pathway in laboratory tests, paving the way for a new treatment. This could potentially provide an alternative, more effective way to treat brain swelling, for which currently there are limited treatment options.

The work was developed by a consortium of experts in Signalling Transduction (Dr Jinwei Zhang, University of Exeter, UK), Medicinal Chemistry (Professor Xianming Deng, Xiamen University, China), Neurosurgery and Cellular and Molecular Physiology (Dr Kristopher T. Kahle, Yale School of Medicine, USA) and Neurology (Professor Dandan Sun, Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System and University of Pittsburgh, USA).

Stroke is typically caused by a blood clot in the brain and can lead to death within minutes. In the UK alone, more than 100,000 strokes occur each year, averaging one every five minutes. Currently. Two thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability, according to the Stroke Association.

A stroke can damage cell volume regulation in the brain, resulting in swelling, a complication that is severe and difficult to treat, currently addressed by the highly invasive surgical procedures of removing part of the skull or inserting a shunt of cerebral spinal fluid. Shunts are particularly susceptible to malfunction and infection, and therefore often require patients to endure a number of repeat operations.

The compound, called ZT-1a, targets a pathway that controls proteins that act as transporters of ions and water in and out of cells. It works by stopping enzymes that activate proteins which bring too much water into the brain. It was tested on mice and rats which had stroke or hydrocephalus, a condition which causes fluid on the brain. These studies indicate that the compound may be able to stop brain swelling, potentially reducing cases of brain injury and death.

Dr Jinwei Zhang, Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, led a team including collaborators in China and the US, that has developed the compound. He said: "Brain swelling after a stroke is a common and devastating problem for individuals and their families. Our discovery could address the urgent need for treatment that could provide an effective alternative to invasive surgery. The drug is still in the laboratory and requires further development. So far it shows promise in effectively reducing brain swelling in stroke, and other brain injuries such as drowning, choking or heart attack."
-end-
The paper is entitled Modulation of brain cation-Cl- cotransport via the SPAK kinase inhibitor ZT-1a, and is published in Nature Communications. .Authors are Zhang J, Bhuiyan MIH, Zhang T, Karimy JK, Wu Z, Fiesler VM, Zhang J, Huang H, Hasan MN, Skrzypiec AE, Mucha M, Duran D, Huang W, Pawlak R, Foley LM, Hitchens TK, Minnigh MB, Poloyac SM, Alper SL, Molyneaux BJ, Trevelyan AJ, Kahle KT, Sun D, Deng X.

University of Exeter

Related Stroke Articles:

Stroke alarm clock may streamline and accelerate time-sensitive acute stroke care
An interactive, digital alarm clock may speed emergency stroke care, starting at hospital arrival and through each step of the time-sensitive treatment process.
Stroke patients with COVID-19 have increased inflammation, stroke severity and death
Stroke patients who also have COVID-19 showed increased systemic inflammation, a more serious stroke severity and a much higher rate of death, compared to stroke patients who did not have COVID-19, according a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study of 60 ischemic stroke patients admitted to UAB Hospital between late March and early May 2020.
'Time is vision' after a stroke
University of Rochester researchers studied stroke patients who experienced vision loss and found that the patients retained some visual abilities immediately after the stroke but these abilities diminished gradually and eventually disappeared permanently after approximately six months.
More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.
How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.
Kids with headache after stroke might be at risk for another stroke
A new study has found a high incidence of headaches in pediatric stroke survivors and identified a possible association between post-stroke headache and stroke recurrence.
High stroke impact in low- and middle-income countries examined at 11th World Stroke Congress
Less wealthy countries struggle to meet greater need with far fewer resources.
Marijuana use might lead to higher risk of stroke, World Stroke Congress to be told
A five-year study of hospital statistics from the United States shows that the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.
We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.
Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.
More Stroke News and Stroke Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.